While it has become increasingly common for NATO to blame Russia for pretty much anything, today’s “fake news” allegation tries to pin on Russia a rumor started by a handful of emails, and which never got much traction outside of a few rumors in Lithuanian media.
The rumor was that German troops, who were recently deployed to Lithuania to target Russia, had been accused of raping an underage Lithuanian girl. An email claiming this was sent to a top Lithuanian MP and a few local media outlets, but was quickly abandoned when authorities insisted there was no such victim and no evidence anything about the story was true.
Rumors like this are relatively common, and the only unique aspect of this one was that a couple of local Lithuanian media outlets took the bait and published the rumors. Still, officials are eager to blame Russia, seemingly just on the idea that the troops are there to target Russia, so Russia would have an interest in embarrassing them.
This is just the latest claim that Russia is targeting Germany, which also includes some vague allegations that Russia is plotting to see a Euroskeptic German party, the AfD, perform well in the upcoming September elections. This allegation appears based wholly on the fact the AfD is polling well, and that the current ruling party wants to blame them for it.